Located in the north east, Venice is a major tourist destination for anyone visiting Italy. This group of islands connected by canals and bridges is well known to many for its beautiful, romantic setting as well as its artworks.
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As fascinating as it is, it is easy to get lost in Venice if you do not pay attention to where you’re going. Do note that Venice is prone to flooding during the winter time.
Must see sites
As with any other Italian city, Venice has its own famous piazza. Piazza San Marco is the main square of Venice and it comes complete with grand architecture, al fresco cafes, and pigeons.
Also located in Piazza San Marco is Basilica di San Marco (Saint Mark’s Basilica), which is the city’s most famous church. Famous for its gold ground mosaics, this is also known as the Church of Gold.
For an aerial view of the square and the rest of Venice, take the lift up the bell tower.
The Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) is another impressive piece of architecture in Saint Mark’s Square.
From the outside of the palace, you can see the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the main palace to the dungeons – you can imagine how the bridge got its name. The dungeons are only accessible via the palace for which a ticket will need to be purchased.
Tell me if you disagree, but I believe that the number one thing on the list of things to do of every visitor who goes to Venice is to go on a gondola ride.
Riding through the canals on a gondola is not only a novelty, but also a good way to see Venice from the water as you pass under the many bridges and avoid motorboats.
Down by the Grand Canal is the Ponte di Rialto, the oldest of four bridges spanning across the canal. This is a great spot for some photos as restaurants, shops and gondolas line both sides of the canal.
If possible, make time to visit a glass blowing factory or studio in Murano and watch as the skilled artisans demonstrate how glass figurines and sculptures are made before your very eyes.
The production of Venetian masks is another art form that this city is known for. Mainly worn during the Carnevale di Venezia, check out these elaborate masks in stores around the city.
If you are a romantic at heart, take the time to visit the city where Shakespeare set the scene for Romeo & Juliet. This world famous tale of the star-crossed lovers has brought many a tourist to Verona, which is only an hour away from Venice by train or car.
As you enter the main square of the city, you will notice a mini replica of the Colosseum in Rome. This is the Verona Arena and it is usually used for opera performances.
Do also visit Juliet’s Courtyard where for a small price, you are allowed to go up onto the balcony to set your own scene as Juliet.
Notes to Juliet 😀
The Verona market in the square is also not to be missed
Dealing with fog in photography
Trying to take photos in foggy conditions can be tricky sometimes.
Not only is it annoying when your lens is covered with condensation, it can be frustrating if your focus point is too far away and you only have one lens with you.
To prevent condensation from occurring, place all your equipment in a plastic bag that is sealed airtight before taking them into a warmer humid environment. Then, wait until all the items in the bag have reached the same temperature as it is outdoors before you open the bags.
Where to stay and eat
Some hidden places and other popular ones. Try all. Expect a premium price if you seat at the S.Marco Square
- Antica Trattoria Poste Vecie – seafood is popular, and squid ink pasta is a Venetian speciality.
- Caffe Florian – people watch as you have a coffee here.
Sleeping …..where….you can stay out of the city and commute everyday if you want to save a bit. Otherwise have a try at the University area, called Dorsoduro. Lots of restaurants and pubs beside some good sleeping options
In this area I suggest the Hotel Antico Capon. It’s on a corner of a big square where the Ventian life is moving. It’s more of a local life, not very touristy. Really something different
San Marco square is in a walking distance, or take the ferry
The other visited cities in this photography trip series
This post was written in collaboration with Stephanie Chew, our European expert